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Pets and CBD: Why Your Veterinarian Can't Talk About It and How to Change That

CBD and Pets: A Taboo Topic for Vets

The other day I was walking in town and passed by a pet store that was advertising CBD for pets, making claims about its usefulness in treating a host of ailments: pain, anxiety, arthritis, allergies, inflammation, and more. I went in and had a nice chat with one of the people working in the shop. I spoke with her not as a veterinarian, but rather as an owner of an aging dog that’s suffering from arthritis and perhaps the beginnings of canine cognitive dysfunction. Sure enough, she recommended a specific CBD oil and also dog treats that contained CBD. I thanked her for her advice and recommendations, didn't buy anything, and went along my merry way. Well ... perhaps not so "merry." In reality, I was more than just a little bit frustrated — but, as you'll see below, not for the reasons you're likely thinking. 

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, pet safety tips, Marijuana toxicity, marijuana, supplements for cats, supplements for dogs, cbd, hemp

Should You Pluck Your Dog's Ear Hair?


Have you ever looked in your dog’s ears and seen a bunch of hair growing inside? Some dog breeds naturally grow hair inside their ears, such as Shih Tzus and Poodles. I’ve noticed that as my Corgi has gotten older, she has thicker fur growing inside her ears than she used to — I call it her “grandpa ear hair.”

Hair inside the ear can make it more difficult for your dog’s immune system to keep levels of yeast and bacteria at a manageable level, can block the flow of air that keeps the ear canal dry, and trap dirt, excess ear wax, and debris inside. So if you’ve noticed that your dog’s inner ears are getting a bit overgrown, what should you do about it?

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Topics: Dog Health, Puppy, Dog, canine care, Grooming, Ears, Ear Cleaning, Ear Infections

Public Dog Water Bowls: Think Before They Drink


Communal Water Bowls – Are They Safe?

You might be thankful when you and your pup are strolling down the street on a warm day and you see a water bowl sitting outside of a pet-friendly business just waiting to provide your dog with the hydration they so desperately need — but wait! 

You may just want to take a pause before letting your dog take that water break. And the same goes for that water bowl at your local dog park! Why? Because of the very real possibility that while your dog is quenching their thirst from a public water bowl, they could also be lapping up bacteria, viruses, or even parasites that could make them quite sick. You know what they say … a moment on the lips ... could lead to sleepless nights of diarrhea.

OK, even if that’s not really how that saying goes, it’s still a good idea to keep it in mind when you come across a communal or public water bowl for your dog. Here’s what you need to know and how you can safely keep your pup hydrated when out and about.

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Topics: Dog Health, Puppy, Parasites, Water Bowls, Water, pet health, Giardia, Water hazards, Dog park, Lepto

How to Help A Dog That’s Missed Early Socialization


Missed the early socialization window? – There's still hope!

Considering or just adopted a timid older puppy or adult dog that clearly didn't have the best early life socialization? Or recently got a new puppy but were told to keep them locked away and not introduce them to any other dogs or bring them out and about until all of their puppy shots were done and you've now missed their early (3–4month old) socialization window? Sadly, these are scenarios that are (still) far too common. But all hope is not lost!

Yes, there’s no doubt or debate about it … proper early life socialization (i.e., before 16 weeks old) is very important for a dog’s wellbeing and development and, if you’ve missed their critical early “socialization window,” you’re definitely starting behind the proverbial "8-ball." But people have made some pretty impressive shots from behind 8-balls actually, and you can too!

Here’s some information, tips, and resources to help you help your previously under- or unsocialized dog get more comfortable with the world. (And be sure to check out the encouraging and heartwarming video and story at the end to see just how far some of these dogs can come, even when getting some of the worst starts in life possible!)

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Topics: Dog Health, Socialization, Training, Dog Behavior

Why You Should Watch Your Dog Pee


Reading the 'Pee Leaves'

Did you know that the way your dog is peeing — or not — can give you some important information about their urinary, and even overall health. This article will highlight some of the signs you may notice when your dog pees that could indicate that a vet visit is needed.

Straining While Peeing

If your dog is struggling or straining while they’re peeing, it could actually be a very serious emergency condition. Both male and female dogs can have their urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside world) blocked by a urinary stone, scaring, inflammation, or even a tumor. Male dogs can also suffer a urethral blockage from an overly enlarged prostate (more of a problem in male dogs that haven’t been neutered, as the prostate grows under the influence of testosterone). You should always err on the side of caution if you see your dog straining to pee and bring them for immediate veterinary evaluation. Even if they’re not “blocked,” your dog will be happy that you had them checked to be sure.

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Topics: Dog Health, Urine sample, Blood in urine, Potty Training, Potty accidents

What Your Dog's Poo Can Tell You About Their Health


Though it may not be your favorite topic to think about or discuss, your dog’s poop can actually provide some good clues about their health. Now, I’m not going to go so far as to say that, like the eyes are the windows to the soul, poop is the window to overall health … but it definitely can provide a glimpse! So here’s the skinny on why you should go outside with your dog when they go to the bathroom and generally pay attention to your dog’s poops. They could be trying to tell you something.

Dog Poo 'Ground Rules'

The poop and pooping characteristics outlined below are a general guide. What’s also very important is a “change in normal” for your specific dog. For example, if your dog normally has slightly “soft” stools and is doing well, then all of a sudden develops firm, dryer stools … that could be an indication of a problem. Or visa versa. Or if they normally poop three times a day, and then suddenly start pooping just once a day (without any changes in diet or exercise), then that is a change that should be investigated with your vet. And so on.

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Topics: Dog Health, dog fleas, Pancreatitis, Parasites, Parasite Preventatives, Digestive upset, Intestinal Worms

What Kind of Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs?


For the most part, peanut butter can be awesome for dogs and most dogs LOVE it! Peanut butter is great as an occasional "high value" treat, it’s useful for hiding pills, and it can even be used to distract your dog while giving them a bath or trimming their nails.

While most peanut butter brands are safe for dogs, not all types of peanut butter are safe and not all amounts of peanut butter are safe, either.

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Topics: Emergencies, Dog Health, Xylitol Dogs, Xylitol, Pancreatitis, Diabetes, Toxicity in dogs, Poison control, Blog, Dog Treats, Seizures, Safe pet treats, Peanut butter, Hypoglycemia, Hepatitis

List of Essentials to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets


If and when disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to scramble for supplies.

Whether you have to hunker down or evacuate to safety, there won’t be much time to worry about finding food, water, and other necessities — and that's if the store shelves haven't been picked clean already.

So it’s vital that you not only have an emergency plan but also an emergency kit — for you and your dog or cat. Hopefully, you will never have to use this kit for the pets in your family. But you will feel a lot better knowing that you have what you need, even if you never need it.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog Emergency, Cat Emergency, Pet First Aid Supplies, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

How to Help Your New Puppy Sleep Through the Night


Has your new puppy been waking you up at night? Are you wondering why your puppy won't sleep? While your new puppy’s sleep schedule might not (yet) be in sync with yours, there are still plenty of things you can do to help both of you get as much sleep as possible. For the first several nights and weeks, you should make peace with the fact that you’re just not going to get a full night’s sleep. But the time and dedication you put in now will help you reach that point sooner (before sleep deprivation makes you start speaking in tongues to shadow people). Check out the tips below so you and your puppy can get back to that deep REM sleep as soon as possible.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Health, Puppy, Dog, Food, Dog Food, new puppy, puppy tips

How to Make a First-Aid Kit for Dogs


What to put in your pet first-aid kit and why


When your dog suffers an illness, injury, or poisoning, knowing what first aid to do (and not do) can have a big impact on their recovery, safety, and comfort. It can also help your emotional stress, because you'll have a plan of action to follow whenever a problem arises. For these, and many other reasons, I always recommend that dog owners take a pet first-aid class. But that's not the end of the story.

Regardless of whether you've taken (or are planning to take) a first-aid class, you still need to have the supplies and "gear" handy to be able to administer first aid to your dog. And that's where having a good pet first-aid kit (or two) comes in.

Do you have a pet first-aid kit? If not, you really should — and this article will show you what you need in your dog's first-aid kit and why. 

If you already have a first-aid kit, when was the last time you checked and updated it? Have your stocks run low? Are the medications expired? Does it truly have everything you might need? (Many pre-made pet first-aid kits don't!)

Read on to see what your dog's first-aid kit should have, and what each of the items is necessary for.

Have a cat? Check out this first aid shopping list for cats.

Make Your Own Pet First-Aid Kit

To make it easy for you to put together (or check) your pet first-aid kit, we have a shopping list (for mobile or printable) for you to take to your nearest pharmacy to grab your dog's first-aid supplies.

Want to make it even easier for yourself (and likely cheaper, too)? We've sourced and linked to good quality/value examples of each of the first-aid items below. Each item on this list has been vetted for you to ensure that you're getting the right products and brands that will be most effective, practical, and safe for inclusion in your dog's first-aid kit. [Full Transparency: Product links are Amazon Affiliate links. Learn more here.]

Hopefully you'll never need to use your dog's first-aid kit. But, you never know, and well... Murphy's Law. So here's how to prepare...

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, First Aid, Pet First Aid Kits, cat first aid, Pet First Aid, dog first aid supplies, dog first aid, Pet First Aid Supplies, Pet First Aid Kit

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.